Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936) was a medieval scholar; Provost of King's College, Cambridge. He wrote many of his ghost stories to be read aloud in the long tradition of spooky Christmas Eve tales. His stories often use rural settings, with a quiet, scholarly protagonist getting caught up in the activities of supernatural forces. The details of horror are almost never explicit, the stories relying on a gentle, bucolic background to emphasise the awfulness of the otherworldly intrusions.
"Ghost Stories of an Antiquary" was written as two collections, presented here as two volumes in a single work. There is a short author's preface before the first story in each volume. (Summary by Peter Yearsley)
Reviewer:Timothy Ferguson -
October 7, 2011 Subject:
Perfectly read, perfectly written
If you love ghost stories, then you simply must try these. They are excellent, don't spoonfeed the reader, and are performed perfectly.
September 20, 2009 Subject:
May [We] Have some More, Please?
Quite right indeed, splitting the arrow piercing the bulls eye. I have listened to these performances over and over for weeks. I obtained a separate M.R. James volume from the local library because of them (and a comment from Poppy Z. Brite). Please, Mr. Yearsley, could your operatively defined largesse include very seriously considering reading, as soon as would fit your schedule[s], some public domain equivalent of Thomas Ligotti? And, again, at your earliest opportunity? I'll do the footwork on that, if you only ask, and then present those members belonging to the union of both sets, 'public domain' and 'of a Thomas Ligotti 'mezzotint'. ---------------------------------------------------
Mezzotint \Mez"zo*tint\, n. [Cf. F. mezzo-tinto.]
A manner of engraving on copper or steel by drawing upon a surface previously roughened, and then removing the roughness in places by scraping, burnishing, etc., so as to produce the requisite light and shade. Also, an engraving so produced. [1913 Webster]
lunarvol can be reached through: gobi-igloo.com/jupiter/ Your reading doesn't hurt my perpetual studies of Latin, Greek and Sanskrit, either, Sir. And if this represents as so very important to me, then there likely are many others who are waiting for more from your masterful transcending artistry. Film? Maybe that would serve the T.L./P.Y. public domain issue for you and for us. Stranger things have happened, as your material almost too clearly demonstrates.
Reviewer:GM Arnold Raleigh NC -
January 7, 2008 Subject:
These are some of the greatest ghost stories ever written (according to HP Lovecraft, and who are we to disagree), read to perfection. As you listen imagine yourself sitting in a scuffed leather chair by the fire, drinking a brandy, in a fine club in London.
To quote HPL:
"Dr. James, for all his light touch, evokes fright and hideousness in their most shocking form, and will certainly stand as one of the few really creative masters in his darksome province."
In addition to that I really must give the highest commendation to the reader of these stories.